Revolution "The Children's Crusade" Review: Operation Punch Charlie in Her Pretty Face

By Tim Surette

Nov 06, 2012

Revolution S01E07: "The Children's Crusade"

Unless some miracle of television spackling occurs, Revolution is beyond salvation and will never be good. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy it. I'm more into the show now than ever, and that's because I've adapted my viewing habits to match the show. My expectations are so low that Charlie could wake up and realize the blackout was all a bad nightmare that resulted from some chowing on some late-night pepperoni Hot Pockets and I wouldn't even flinch. In fact, I'd love that! So yeah, my expectations are low—but they're still expectations. Even though I go into each episode with an open mind, there's no forgetting the six hours of Revolution that preceded "The Children's Crusade."

Now I get a little antsy before each episode of Revolution, because what if it's... good? What if Charlie doesn't get herself into a dumb situation where she needs to be rescued by Miles AGAIN? What if things make sense? What if there isn't some ridiculous sidequest that Charlie insists the group set out on? What once were wastes of endless potential have become addictive nuggets of dreck, and the early moments of each episode of Revolution, when I'm unsure what's in store, have become nerve-racking.

But after those early moments of uncertainty in last night's "The Children's Crusade," a pack of wild, orphaned kids showed up with bows and arrows and I let out a sigh of relief. Water was still wet. Hell did not experience an Ice Age. Pigs did not sprout wings. Revolution promised to remain enjoyably bad for at least another hour, and the world was able to continue spinning. Phew!

"The Children's Crusade" was not the turning point for the series, thank the lord, but I will say it did take some much-appreciated steps toward answering some of our questions about the blackout. Were they the answers we were looking for? Not even close! But the episode's combination of pointless sidequest and flashbacks detailing the origin of the blackout was Revolution at its bestworst!

Obviously Charlie doesn't care THAT much about Danny, because she's constantly taking up these extracurricular missions that keep her from finding her brother. Last night's was straight out of a bad role-playing video game, as a group of wildling orphans needed help finding their leader Peter. It turned out to be valuable brother-finding experience points for Charlie, however, because Peter was the brother of Michael, a boy who became the de facto boy in charge of the Kid Crusaders after Peter was boynapped by Monroe's men. It should also be mentioned that Michael had a great haircut for a post-apocalypse wasteland. Apparently a worldwide blackout has frozen hairstyles in the world of YouTube dreamboats.

"My brother was taken too so I will help you get your brother because I know how that feels, bro," said Charlie as she put Danny's life on the back burner because screw Danny. Charlie has an insatiable need to help others who aren't her brother that cannot be stopped, so don't even try to reason with her. Heck, she was about to take on a whole Monroe army with a knife because they had a kid in chains! She has People Saving Syndrome, and it's incurable and those who suffer from it are afflicted with poor judgment, an inflated sense of self, and frowny faces. Miles tried to reason with Charlie and made a big deal about getting it through her thick skull that they couldn't save everyone, and then Miles also caught People Saving Syndrome and later said, "We're saving these adorable and dangerous kids that just ambushed us!" Even though Aaron called him out on his inconsistency. Yes, Miles felt guilty about being in charge of the Monroe Republic army when the kids' parents were taken away, but Miles was in charge of the Monroe Republic army when a lot of horrible things happened. Heck, he barely wanted to help his own niece at first. He's the archetypical selfish rogue who will put his own life at risk to help others wait what? Guys, I think Miles might be a paranoid schizophrenic.

So Miles, Charlie, Nora, and Aaron took off to find Peter because it was an adults-only mission, and of course a handful of kids, including the fat one and the young black girl who are about as useful in a fight as baby bunnies, snuck along behind them because they wanted some action, too. What's up with kids in television thinking they can always fight? Stay home and play with your Nintendos that you made out of tree bark and rocks, brats! In hindsight, other than (spoiler) Michael getting taken captive, there really wasn't a point for these kids to come along. Also in hindsight, the guy who greenlighted this show was definitely on an absinthe bender.

Thankfully, Miles had a plan to get into the giant conscription boat that Peter was being held in, and it involved Charlie getting punched. A lot. Last week, the grand plan was telling guards, "I'd hate to be you when I tell your boss that you wouldn't let me in!" This week, the plan was punch Charlie in the face. Charlie sat by the side of a road and waited for some militia men to come by, then one of them punched her in the face. Then next thing you know she was on the boat getting conscripted. Then Charlie picked a fight with a big fat kid, and he punched her in the face. So far, this plan was going great! Here's what it looked like.

OPERATION PUNCH CHARLIE IN HER PRETTY FACE

Phase One:

Phase Two:

SUCCESS!

Then Charlie was in the medical bay (from getting punched in the face twice) being treated by a kind doctor, so she tranquilized the doctor by stabbing him in the neck with a syringe. Not nice! After the kind doctor was subdued, she ran about three steps before she got captured. Ugh, how could this fool-proof face-punching neck-stabbing plan be foiled by a well-run and armed military force? We might never know.

And you know what happens when Charlie gets in trouble (which is all the time), Miles comes and saves her! For the second straight week in a row, Charlie found her way into an impenetrable fortress for an objective using an elaborate plan (dressing up like a slut, getting punched in the face) that worked zero percent, and once again Miles waltzed into the same heavily secured stronghold by climbing over something and saved Charlie. You might be asking yourself, "Why doesn't Miles just go in the first place and save everyone a bunch of trouble?" Let me put that question to rest by saying, "Because then Charlie wouldn't get punched in the face."

They grabbed Peter, and were about to leave when Michael showed up with a bunch of mean militia men holding a knife to his throat. There was no way to get out of this situation, they were totally boned! There were only two things that could save them: Batman or a deus ex machina, and Batman was on vacation. Deus ex machina it is! While Miles and Charlie and Nora and Peter were in trouble, Aaron was back at the lighthouse basecamp with the kids who couldn't follow orders and they were all hiding from some bad guys when Aaron's pendant lit up and turned on the lighthouse! Then the lighthouse blinded Michael's captors all the way over on the boar, and it was truly a blessed coincidence because it gave Miles the split second he needed to start one of the show's epic swordfights and in about two shakes of a lamb's tail Miles killed everyone on the boat. Just decimated all the militia men in a flurry of severed limbs and broken dreams. Classic Miles. So good with a sword when he needs to be. The children were saved, every person in the party got 100 experience points and 15 gold, and Charlie put all her character level-up points into Constitution so she could take punches from larger opponents for next episode.

Back at Casa de Monroe, Revolution attempted to make something interesting out of the insufferable bore that is Rachel's imprisonment in Monroe's prison mansion. Monroe captured a former cohort of Rachel's that supposedly held one of the magic pendants, so Rachel was taken out of her fancy four-star confinement and planted in the actual prison to get the information out of him. But he was wise to Monroe's plan, so he didn't give up the information and instead they tortured his daughter! It was really critical to the whole episode's theme of "What is the point of this?" Way to turn your back on your former friend and get his family probably raped, Rachel.

But the best part (as usual) was the flashbacks, this time following Rachel well before the blackout. Ben's science team was working on a device that could produce clean, low-cost electricity, but instead they created a device that did the exact opposite and shut off electricity! It even shut down Robo Sapien!

Oops! I don't want to question Ben's science expertise or anything, but if you are a professional scientist and you create something that does the opposite of what you were researching, maybe you should look into a career at McDonald's or something? I'd like to see his previous experiments, like that time he tried to find a cure for cancer but ended up giving his whole team cancer. That's Dr. Ben, Accidental Scientist.

Ben's colossal goofup wasn't a total disaster, though. Suspicious Department of Defense representative Mr. Flynn was interested in Ben's device as a weapon, and Ben's eyes turned into dollar signs because who cares if the U.S. uses this as a weapon? What are they going to do, turn off Russia's Tetris machines? No biggie. Peace-loving hippie liberal Rachel had a problem with this though, and she had some strong words for Ben. Sensing Rachel was the key to getting Ben's device, Mr. Flynn needed to find a way to win her over. If only she had some sort of complications with her pregnancy, because Mr. Flynn had good connections with the fetoscopic trials at Colombia. Oh what's this? Rachel WAS having problems with carrying Danny! Flynn offered his services, and I'm guessing she accepted because Danny is alive so he must have been born. Or maybe she didn't accept it and that's why Danny has really bad asthma? I don't know.

It's heavily implied that the government, or at least the Department of Defense, was involved in turning out the lights, so go ahead and add government conspiracy to the laundry list of things in Revolution. What's more, at the end of the episode we found out that Flynn was Randall, the man who captured Grace who is that woman we all forgot about from early in the series!

I'm hoping all future episodes of Revolution are like "The Children's Crusade," a combination of tangential missions of inconsequential importance and disjointed flashbacks sprinkling ideas about the blackout. But I'll also take episodes featuring Charlie in a slinky cocktail dress, too. Just as long as they all have one thing: Charlie getting punched in the face.



NOTES

– Monroe is probably the least intimidating villain on television. You can just tell the guy is way too nice to be making threats he'll follow up on. I kind of just want to hug him.

– Was there a reason Flynn had to be in the room with all the electronics when Ben showed him the demonstration? Wouldn't it have been just as believable if he was on the same side of the glass with Ben? That way, they wouldn't have had to look like idiots talking to each other on the phone. Oh well, what do I know?! I'm no science major.

– Aaron, trying to earn some nerd cred: "Awesome, like a pack of hairless Ewoks." Haha! Oh Aaron, I still don't like you.

  • Comments (516)
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  • DanielleClaud1 Apr 24, 2013

    Show started a few weeks ago in the UK. The first thing I noticed was the LOST similarities: the plots, the actors, THE ACTORS!!! the episodes set up with all the bloody flashbacks!!!
    Hollywood has many actors so... What's up with that!
    Don't get me wrong it's addictive, it's not good but really addictive. Where do I start:
    Why do people living in the wood looks so damn clean. Charlie, Miles, Nora...
    The casting is so wrong, I want to marry Bas Monroe and have brainwashed babies with him. I'm that scared of him. All the LOST castaways. Charlie! She always looks like she about to laugh (and I want her dental plan) ...
    The plot... Tim is right I don't expect much anymore. My least concern is the power or Danny. A good season would have for us to see how the US got divided and how a militia that should have been Miles became Bas. Pretty much the first 5 years or something "Godfather" style.

    The LOST rip off can't even be called that! I believe these are from the same writers. The Intro and the cutaways are the same even the music. So... I'm calling this lazy work for another network: "
    WRITERS: so this time it's not an island without power but the whole damn world!
    ABC: you fool, it's too obvious! We're doing fairy takes now
    NBC: we'll take it!
    WRITERS: suckers!!!

  • GBrewer Nov 14, 2012

    I stopped watching this show awhile ago, but may have to watch this episode just to see Charlie get the 'ol 1-2 in the kisser.

  • Conan776 Nov 14, 2012

    Ha ha. Hilarious review. I couldn't make it through this whole episode until the next one showed up and made me want to power through.



    "Was there a reason Flynn had to be in the room with all the electronics when Ben showed him the demonstration?"



    Because Flynn sees his own cellphone shut off, showing it isn't simply rigged.

  • LilyGabrielle Nov 14, 2012

    I have a question: how is this crapfest so popular?

  • mad-pac Nov 14, 2012

    It's an acquired taste. Many people start ambivalent or even disliking the show, but once they get hooked they seem unable to give it up, or so it seems.

  • Mysterv Nov 14, 2012

    The show would be much better if the complex and nasty Captain/Major Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) killed off Monroe ("the least intimidating villain on television").

    That would add an edge to the show that is totally lacking currently.

  • Mysterv Nov 14, 2012

    I found one comment in the article that nails a major problem with the show ---

    "Monroe is probably the least intimidating villain on television"

    A show can overcome some poor casting or poor character development but this show not only has a poor character in Charlie but also has a villain that belongs on the Disney channel. No fear.

  • nasiafan Nov 14, 2012

    What will the orphans do without Peter Pan?

  • vcivi Nov 13, 2012

    The thing is with Revolution. They had to take another character to play the Mother of Charlie and her brother. Talking about Rachel.the captive one..The way she looks and keep secrects....well it feels like, the role she played in Lost. There she was the same...exactly the same...

    I was thinking that now Charlie has a brand on her arm...teh big M, it should be easier to get close to the bad guys now, right?

    I simply don't understand why everybody is dashing Revolution. Ok Charlie get's in trouble every week. Every week, she needs to be save, but in meantime, we keep learning more and more, of why there is no electricity.....( can you imagine, that something like that would actually happen? I can't and hope not)....+ Now we finally know who is Randal...i was wondering about it....!!

    I have decided to go through with it and watch all episode they are planning to air...!!

    Love Aaron. he can get so panicky when the pendant starts to work...hahahahaha...



    The only thing i don't get, is the role of Nora? She got hit last week, now she is walking and fine again...but till now, i don't understand, why Miles really needed her...???

  • nasiafan Nov 14, 2012

    Miles only wants her around so he can tap that when his niece isn't around. I say this before seeing last night's episode where they kissed.

  • GirishStewart Nov 13, 2012

    'Ties that Bind' - Best episode yet!! That. Is. All.

  • stanking Nov 13, 2012

    What would make it even easier to read would be for 5 fanbois to take a short break, eat a meal, take a shower, change clothes, check to see what day it is, maybe even seek employment. Of the 473 comments to this point, 258 are the "contributions" of DinChild, mad-pac, GirishStewart, Isbloom, and JoshHorton.

  • smorbie Nov 14, 2012

    Have some time on your hands?

  • mad-pac Nov 14, 2012

    Hey, how do you get the computer to calculate who posted more? Does it also tell which are the newest replies? Thanks.

  • stanking Nov 14, 2012

    I used an XML parser to run through the HTML and pull out the tags that listed the username (for example, stanking) while dropping everything else. I could have written a routine to count those and sort them, but honestly, at that point it was easier to drop the result into Excel and sort there. Easy peasy, and since I wrote the routine to extract the names a long time ago for another page, there wasn't any new coding really. It would be possible to pull the newer replies as well by looking for text that says "X hours ago", but then you'd have to search for the matches in the original page. tv.com's IT guys could easily add the functionality if they were properly motivated.

  • mad-pac Nov 14, 2012

    That's interesting, and thanks for the information. Unfortunately i'm better versed in human languages rather than computer language.

    You know, you could offer your services to tv.com to make this forum much more accessible. For instance I bet you could add a functionality that would allow any participant to block any other commenter to appear on your screen, instead of attempting to limit other people's right of free expressing themselves at will.

  • stanking Nov 14, 2012

    I haven't attempted to limit others' rights of expression; I've merely exercised my own. You and a few others have so overtaken this forum that it's become more of a chore for others to find and read opinions by the rest of those interested. You have the right to do this, but you're kinda ruining it for everyone else.

  • mad-pac Nov 14, 2012

    Wow, you really hurt my feelings this time, stanking. I can't even think of a snappy retort. But don't worry, I'll keep posting since you love our contributions so much.

    FYI, not that I owe you any explanation, I like boards where I can interact with people. Just like we're doing now. If anything, we're giving the Revolution board some heart. Chillax and try to have some fun for a change.

  • lsbloom Nov 13, 2012

    That's a pretty one-sided analysis. DinChild is certainly NOT a fanboy. I think people should be able to converse as they please.

  • JoshHorton Nov 13, 2012

    Stanking, maybe you should take your own advice, perhaps? I mean what life do you have if you are wondering onto this ongoing discussion a week later? We all have lives thank you. So sue us if we like to discuss a TV show. When I'm not on here, I'm busy doing school work. I mean, considering the fact you went through and counted how many comments the 5 of us made within the 473 comments is kind of saying something about the life (or lack thereof) that you have. That is all.

  • stanking Nov 13, 2012

    Just so you know, I didn't count the comments; I got the computer to do that for me and it took all of 2 minutes to set up and nothing to execute. And I didn't focus on you; I let the computer tell me the top 5.

  • smorbie Nov 14, 2012

    I'm totally impressed with you now. I could never figure out how to get my computer to do that.

  • JoshHorton Nov 13, 2012

    Still doesn't change the point that you seem to need to take your own advice. You still took time out of your day to do it. You should include yourself in the "need to get a life" aspect.

  • mad-pac Nov 14, 2012

    You're funny, smorbie. We don't have the same TV tastes but I like you.

  • JoshHorton Nov 14, 2012

    I don't want dessert! And he started it! haha

  • smorbie Nov 14, 2012

    AHHH! Do you see?? Do you see the evil of this show?? It's turning us against one another. We must remember, the show is our enemy, not each other. Now kiss and make up or it's off to bed with no dessert for any of you.

  • DinChild Nov 13, 2012

    You're right. I'm a total fanboy. I'm such a fanboy, In all the fanboyishness, I've forgotten to change my underwear and jack off appropriately. This is all so embarrassing. Thank you, Stanking. Thank you for not wasting your time to say shit that's not completely useless.

  • GirishStewart Nov 13, 2012

    Thank you, but I already have a life. You need to ask yourself this instead of being condescending. Its been 7 days since the last episode. So, why do you think tv.com is so interested to highlight it the whole week? No other show gets the spotlight this long. Its not like we don't know it has kinks, but its steadily improving and the hate is misguided. Of course, we'll talk about the show we like/dislike with a passion. Why do you care?

  • stanking Nov 13, 2012

    You kind of make my point. tv.com hasn't highlighted this all week; the 200+ comments you five have made have triggered a computer algorithm - doesn't mean the show is one of the most popular, but just that the code has performed correctly. And the reason I care is that it's difficult to find the opinions of the 100 other people among all the noise, and that some people may actually believe that you five are a large group of supporters due to the sheer weight of all your comments.

  • GirishStewart Nov 14, 2012

    No. Lets put this in perspective. Vampire Diaries gets 400+ comments every week. Its taken down after 3-4 days at the most. Do you get it?

  • JoshHorton Nov 13, 2012

    If you read our comments, you'll see that not all of the 5 are supporters of Revolution. We have mixed opinions.

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